EATING SAFELY

  • Restaurant Research - The first thing to do before you even step foot on the plane is to spend a few nights on the net, looking at sites like Tripadvisor for recent restaurant reviews. If people get sick from eating at a particular restaurant, they will honestly let you know in the restaurant reviews, enabling you to avoid those ones. If you take a list of " safe" places to eat, it improves your chances of being able to check out the local sights instead of checking out the local toilets. Never eat from roadside stands, or drink anything that hasn't been immediately boiled first. If you wish to eat at warungs, watch for a while to see if expats/tourists are going there to eat. If you are away from the area that you researched restaurants in, pick dishes off the menu that are well cooked and non Indonesian or seafood. If you are away from the tourist areas, avoid drinks with ice.

 

  • Reducing The Risk Of Bali Belly - there are some TA member recommended products for reducing the risk of developing Bali Belly such as activated charcoal capsules, cranberry/raspberry juice and even red cordial. Some also recommend drinking Yakult or taking probiotics.
  • >> Norit Activated Charcoal Capsules - highly recommended by TripAdvisor members and is available in Bali.
  • >> Travelan, available from chemists in Australia, when taken directly before eating will prevent bacteria such as E-coli from taking hold in your colon and developing into Bali Belly. One box of Travelan contains 30 tablets.

 

 

BALI BELLY

Bali Belly can be caused by bacteria and/or parasites in food and water. If symptoms are severe then you may have a parasitic infection which will require medical attention.

  • Spicy Food vs. Bali Belly - If you've been eating a lot of spicy local dishes or adding chilli sauce (aka Sambal or Hot Sauce) to your food then you may experience a brief encounter with the runs the next day, so please don't panic and think you have Bali Belly. If you haven't eaten anything spicy then chances are its BB. If you feel nauseous and the runs increase in frequency then it may be BB and not the spicy food.

 

  • Managing Symptoms - Should you be unfortunate to get Bali Belly or any other illness resulting in diarrhoea or vomiting, ensure you drink plenty of bottled water and allow your body to naturally flush out the bacteria. Immediately cease to consume alcohol. Avoid any beverage such as red cordial or any drink that is red in colour as this will be passed out in the same colour and may cause you unnecessary distress.
  • >> Gatorade or Pocari Sweet - when the frequency of trips to the bathroom subsides you still need to keep your fluid intake up however you should consider drinking Gatorade or Pocari Sweet which will replenish the vital electrolytes you've lost as your body was flushing itself. Hydralyte is another recommended product (in liquid, powder or tablet form) however this is only available for purchase in Australia, so if you're prone to Bali Belly then it may be a good idea to visit your chemist to purchase them prior to heading to Bali.
  • >> Imodium or Gastrostop - these products are effective at stopping the diarrhoea and nausea however they should only be taken in situations such as when you're going on a tour or if you are due to fly home or even if you have an important function to attend such as a wedding.

 

  • Medical Attention - should your symptoms be very severe and include severe stomach cramps or if you are in an 'at risk' group, please seek medical attention immediately. It is possible that your Bali Belly is the result of a parasitic infection which can easily be treated with medication at the local hospital.

 

 

HYGIENE

  • Flushable Toilet Wipes - Many Bali toilets don't supply toilet paper as it is not something they would generally use, especially outside of the Kuta- Legian-Seminyak area. Flushable wipes are essential! These should be purchased from your home country as they may not be available in Bali. Kleenex Cottonelle flushable cleansing cloths can be purchased at chemists and supermarkets within Australia.

 

  • Hand Sanitizers - are usually available in supermarkets and smaller shops in Bali and are also cheaper in Bali. An anti bacterial, alcohol based one is vital. If the water is unsafe to drink, why wash your hands in it? Use the hand sanitizer after using the bathroom (instead of local water) and before eating.
  • >> Gels - Take a small sanitizer gel bottle in your handbag/moneybelt/pocket and leave a large one in your hotel bathroom. Then if your small one runs dry, refill from the large one. Hand sanitizer is available in Bali at a very reasonable price in the tourist areas.
  • >> Wipes - Antibacterial wipes are available in Bali in most Apoteks/Chemists and supermarkets/hypermarkets. The most common brand is Dettol however Softies Antibacterial Easy Wet Wipes (sold in packs of 20 wipes) are available also. Wipes are much more convenient to carry around as they can slip into your pocket or bag.